Fiesta de Nuestra Señora del Rosario – Valdemoro, Spain
The feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary is officially celebrated in the liturgy on October 7 each year, yet, in Valdemoro, Spain (just south of Madrid), the local community comes together on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a full month before, to pay homage to their town’s patron saint. According to the town’s website, the area’s devotion to Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Our Lady of the Rosary) extends back five centuries and led to the development of a yearly festival of vibrant cultural expressions like “bull runs, comedy shows, and dances” (para. 3), which, in one form or another, mimic the concerts and processions of the present day.
Having just moved to Valdemoro in August, I did not know quite what to expect from the fiestas this weekend. After grabbing one of the biweekly booklets issued by the town hall featuring different events in the local area, I was excited to learn that this weekend (September 6-9) would include live music, a cultural exhibit on the poetry of Pablo Neruda, and a solemn high Mass at the town church. The bf and I invited some of our friends from Madrid down to our place to take in the festivities and enjoy one last summer hurrah.
From plates of patatas bravas and sider-stewed chorizo, to the best tortilla española I’ve ever eaten and some homemade Salvadoran pupusas courtesy of the bf, this weekend was filled with delicious food. When great company and Spanish wine are thrown in the mix, we could not help but enjoy ourselves. Although the secular music was a bit lackluster (e.g. a Nirvana tribute band and an off-brand version of Ariana Grande singing Spanish oldies like pop songs), the parish choir sang beautifully. Overall, the fiestas were a great way to integrate ourselves more fully into the life of our new pueblo.
Very big hugs from Valdemoro!
A prayer to Our Lady of the Rosary:
Blessed Virgin Mary, you are full of God’s grace.
We revere your fiat, your yes, that affirms the agency of all God’s children.
We cherish you for the role you played in bringing Jesus into this world.
We name you as not only the mother of the Word made flesh,
but also as our own mother and friend.
We ask you to pray for us, to remember us, to shelter us
as we die to ways of living and modes of thought
that separate us from God’s love and from one another.